Sam Strange Remembers: FAST & FURIOUS

Hollywood legend Sam Strange recalls the time he decided to bring the original stars back to the FAST & FURIOUS films: the CGI cars.

By this time in the series, two things were abundantly clear. One, the message of racial progression and casual genius among today’s youth was not reaching its intended older audience because those assholes are simply too set in their ways to learn anything new. And two, the ever-growing mythology engrossing the series had grown too large for mere street racing plot lines. It was finally time to drop all that academic pretense and start making some kick-ass action films.

When Fast and Furious begins, Dom “Touretto” DeLuise is still hi-jacking trucks except now he’s in Dominican Republic, Mexico and has a new crew. There’s Letty, of course, but also a Korean-American car samurai named Han, and a couple of goofball Mexican dudes named Taco-Tico and Del Taco.

Everyone’s more grown up and mature in this one, so instead of stealing DVD players, Dom’s crew robs trucks carrying gasoline, which they then sell at inflated-prices to gas stations world wide via BP. We don’t see it in the film, but they also use their cars to steal foreclosed suburban homes and stocks in Apple.

After their big score, Dom starts to wonder about the life he’s leading. When Han tells him their LA garage has been raided by police, Dom makes up his heavy mind. He tells Letty that his continued presence in Dominican Republic, Mexico is too dangerous for everyone around him. Out of honorable concern for her well being, he must abandon her. Because he wants this message to penetrate her subconscious, he explains it to her while she’s sleeping. Of course, the very moment he’s out of the room, someone kidnaps her, takes her to LA, chases after her in car, and shoots her in the head.

The next day, Dom’s new life as a mechanic in Panama City, Mexico is shattered when his sister, Eloise DeLoise, informs him of Letty’s murder. Immediately, he drives to LA and examines the crime scene. Simply by looking at scratches in the pavement, Dom’s genius regarding all things car allows him to recreate the entire murder scene. He sees that someone with a very particular form of NO5 (Nitromethamphetamine5) kidnapped Lettie, flew her to LA, chased after her in a car, and shot her in the head while listening to Metallica and remembering funny moments from Renn & Stimpy. He even gets a name from the exhaust stains: Arturo Bandini.

Meanwhile, Paul Walker is in this movie too, though he’s not yet Drift-Enhanced by future Han. This time, Paul Walker is all done with fun and games; you can tell by his close-cropped haircut, steely stare, and five o’clock shadow. As a result, he will herby be known only as Walker.

Walker attends Letty’s tasteful funeral in hopes of running into Dom. Every racer in LA seems to be there, but not him. Looking off in the distance, though, Walker notices a huge, hard, pumping oil jack, and it reminds him of his old friend. In actuality, it IS Dom disguised as heavy machinery so he can see his Letty’s funeral.

Walker’s now a federal agent working within a special sect of the FBI called the FHRBA (Fuckin Hot Rod Bureau of Acceleration). The FHRBA is also interested in Arturo Bandini for smuggling muscle cars across the US-Mexico border.

It just so happens that Arturo Bandini’s operation seeks two more drivers. Applicants simply need to win a race. Worried racers might recognize him from his days with Dom “Touretto” DeLuise, Paul Walker shows up wearing a mustache. And just in case people remember him from his days of being Dom “Touretto” DeLuise, Dom shows up wearing a mustache, too, and goes by the name Van Wailyn.

It takes Walker and Dom a long time to recognize each other because of the mustaches, but once they do, the old tensions flare up. Will Dom’s revenge mission ruin Walker’s Federal justice mission? Will they be able to team up for the greater good? Will the clearly grown-up Walker still quietly accept catcher position as he used to? This is the Fast and the Furious. Instead of answering those questions with words, we’ll be doing it with a badass CG race. Dom wins, but only by cheating, which prompts Walker to stir up the past: “You do a lot of cheating, don’t you, Van Wailyn?”

So Dom is in and Walker is out. The other driver who wins is this skinny cowboy type named Sup Nutsack. Walker has him arrested the next day for massive amounts of planted heroin, forcing Arturo Bandini to accept him as the second driver. Sup Nutsack dies in prison as soon as he introduces himself.

Dom and Walker think they’ll finally get to meet Arturo Bandini, but instead they only meet his gopher boy, Verbal Kint (Fred Armisen). Kint tells them their mission: drive into Mexico, get a shit load of heroin, drive back. Easy. They won’t even need to look at the road because their cars are equipped with GPS systems that steer for them.

So they do all that, but it’s not so simple. Both Walker and Dom know they’ll be killed once the mission is over because they remember watching 2Fast 2Furious. On top of that, Dom has the vengeance to dish out. When the time comes for them to be shot, Dom takes off his mustache, revealing his true identity. Before the bad guys can say “Oh Shit, he ain’t Van Wailyn!” he blows up the cars and kills all the bad guys. After that, he and Walker take off with the drugs.

Back in America, the two decide to work together on killing Arturo Bandini. They’ll sell him his drugs back but only if he appears himself, thus giving the FHRBA a chance to arrest him and Dom a chance to eat his face off. An old man shows up at the meet claiming to be Arturo Bandini. The FHRBA arrest him only to find that he’s just a decoy! Verbal Kint was the real Arturo Bandino all along! Now he’s got the drugs, the money, and he’s escaping to Mexico!

The only people fast and furious to stop him are Walker and Dom. Chasing him across the border, the two follow him into a very long, wet, compact, tunnel. Most of these movies are filled with gratuitous penis imagery. I thought I’d change it up a bit and show a gigantic vagina instead. And true to life, Walker and Bandino drive out the other side gently, while Dom BURSTS out with a head filled with attitude and cravings for tit.

Dom and Walker take turns running over Arturo’s nutz until his ghost stops dancing. Helicopters arrive to clean up the mess and arrest Dom. Walker wants Dom to run, but he refuses because he’s too in love to leave Walker again. Later, Dom’s sent to 25 years in prison, but on the ride there a group of familiar cars flank the bus, and he knows he’s got nothing to worry about. Walker, Eloise DeLuise, Han, Taco-Tico, and Del Taco, have all shown up to break him out and drink coronas afterwards.

So now the gang is back together. Walker is firmly on Dom’s criminal team and in his heart. What will happen next? Don’t forget, this is a story spanning time and space, told one quarter mile at a time. Stay tuned up…

(three stars)

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